Bright: Latest Mystic harvest complete

June 19, 2024
(L to R) Louis Routledge, HVP District Forester; Jacob Cunneen, PH Processor Operator; Lachlan Foster, PH Forwarder Operator; Hayley Wright, PH Operations Manager

Mystic Park’s latest harvesting operation, covering 23 hectares— roughly the size of 14 Bright footy ovals— has finished up as winter rolls in. While residents and visitors see the change with some trees gone (for now), and perhaps the logs being transported out the road, HVP Plantations is keen to share the story of the people and cooperation involved to make it all happen.
Louis Routledge (HVP District Forester) has spent a lot of time on the ground at Mystic over the past few months. He says, “The team effort of close communication and cooperation is what makes plantation forestry and the outdoor recreation activities of Mystic Park successfully coexist.”

Louis’ job is to facilitate HVP roadworks and harvest operations according to the safety, community, environmental, historic and production values outlined in the Timber Harvest Plan. Louis and a number of his HVP colleagues work closely with Alpine Community Plantation through the complex planning phase and then throughout the operation.

“We extend our thanks to everyone we work with in the biking, paragliding and running community of Mystic Park to make this happen. The community’s support is invaluable for our continued work in producing locally grown timber.” Northern HVP General Manager, Mick Evans says.

]Louis continues, “We are grateful to the vast majority of riders, runners, and walkers who do the right thing and stay outside of the worksite signs and barriers. Most people respect the safety signage and use alternate trail options while the harvesting team focuses on their job.”
Unfortunately though, over the eight-week harvest period members of the public breached the worksite boundary on twelve occasions. This is generates huge stress and puts people at grave risk of life-changing injury, or fatality.

Beyond the worksite signs, the Plantation Harvesting contractor team operates with safety, efficiency and productivity to see the job through. Jacob processes the trees into logs – optimising different lengths and diameters to meet customer specifications. Lachlan takes the logs in the forwarder to the stack locations, ready for transport. As PH’s operations manager, Hayley coordinates across various crews and liaises with HVP.

After leaving the plantation, the logs are destined for a range of uses across construction, finishing and packaging. Over half of the timber volume harvested is heading to Myrtleford, where it is being processed into high-quality plywood. The remaining timber will be delivered to processors in Wangaratta, Benalla, and regional New South Wales, where it will be transformed into house framing, other building materials, and paper and packaging products. Haulage to these mills is scheduled to be completed by the end of June.

Looking ahead, Louis says, “With plans to replant the latest harvest site this winter, it won’t be long until locals and visitors will see the next generation of trees popping up in the Mystic basin. HVP’s harvesting contractors will return to Mystic in spring 2025 to harvest the next area on the schedule.”

©2024 Hancock Victorian Plantations